Summertown Interiors focusing on green projects
SUMMERTOWN Interiors, the UAE’s leading sustainable fit-out contractor, says it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020 thanks to its Eco-Leaders Green Committee. In the 12 months since it formed the internal task group, the company has achieved 26 per cent of the deliverables outlined in its nine-year plan.
As a member of the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network, Summertown’s ‘Green Plan’ will be one of the case studies used by the Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business to educate other UAE businesses on ‘Integrating CSR into Business Strategy’. According to a 2012 CSR survey by the Dubai Chamber, only 28 per cent of Dubai companies have a corporate environmental policy, and only 15.2 per cent of companies implement an environmental management system.
“For Summertown Interiors, creating an environmentally-conscious culture within the workplace has been the most important task in working towards its ambitious carbon neutral goal,” said a spokesman for the company. “The Eco-Leaders Green Committee, an internal task group that is rotated among all employees, is responsible for identifying sustainable practices across five strategic pillars for the business – clients, suppliers, people, operations
He further said: “Externally, the company remains committed to focusing its efforts on undertaking green projects and improving waste management practices across all sites. In addition to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) Gold-certified showroom, Summertown Interiors has also undertaken three other green projects this year. Moving forward, the Eco-Leaders committee will ensure that all projects undertaken by the company will be delivered in accordance with our green principles, even when not specified by the client.”
The Eco-Leaders committee has also taken active steps to reduce, reuse and recycle Summertown’s construction waste as part of its waste management programme. In the last year, the committee introduced mandatory practices for site workers such as segregation and recycling of waste items like metal, glass and concrete and reusing of site materials wherever possible. In addition to reducing wastage, these also help in subsidising material costs for clients.
Summertown’s waste management programme also extends beyond its projects to include its factories and offices. The Eco-Leaders committee ensures waste from factories and offices is segregated and either recycled, reused or sold to third parties. Money generated from sales is donated to various charities.
Additional steps have been taken by the committee to administer and facilitate the usage of green materials and products. A green products index has been created to rate products according to their environmental benefits and to help procurement managers select the most relevant resources for each job. A green library catalogues all of the company’s green reference materials including magazines, DVDs, electronic and hard copy books.
Summertown is also in the process of developing green products at its joinery facility. So far the company has completed the product design specification of 60-minute and 120-minute green fire doors. The doors, which are currently being reviewed for third party green-certification, will go into production early next year.